Absolute best System for Running SolidWorks 2011

What would be the absolute best hardware configuration for Running SolidWorks 2011? I have a budget between 3000 and 3500 dollars. The current setup i am using runs the software just fine, but rendering times have become unbearable.
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More about absolute system running solidworks 2011
  1. Post your current system specs. Thanks.
  2. The current system is a Dell Precision work station model # t3400.
    Intel core 2 duo E6850 3.0 Ghz
    8 Gb ram
    Nvidia Quadro Fx 1700 512 mb
    Windows Xp 64 bit

    I have been tasked by my employer to purchase a new machine so that the old one can be moved to a new location. Like i said my budget is about 3500 dollars. I am debated whether another Dell precision machine would be best, or a custom configuration. Are the xeon processors the best way to go for running software like SolidWorks, or would something like the I7 980x be better? Also, is the quadro line of video cards from NVidia the best way to go for modeling software or something else? Thanks
  3. Best answer
    Is a monitor included in the budget? If not, I would go with something like this:

    Intel Core i7-970 Gulftown 3.2GHz 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80613I7970

    ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $1,134.99 - $20.00 MIR (CPU + motherboard combo)

    G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI $129.99

    G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI $129.99 (I would get two kits for a total of 12GB)

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $179.98 (HD + OS combo)

    COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $79.99

    Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $89.99

    PNY Quadro FX 4800 VCQFX4800-PCIE-PB Quadro FX 4800 1.5GB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Supported Workstation Video Card $1,549.99

    LG Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $17.99

    Total - $3,312.91 - $20.00 MIR = $3292.91

    Here's a link to the recommended specs for a SolidWorks PC:

    You could save quite a bit by going with a Quadro FX 3800, but you might as well get the FX 4800 if your employer is paying for it. :)

    PNY Quadro FX 3800 1GB GDDR3 256-bit PCI-E 2.0 x16 Professional Video Card - VCQFX3800-PCIE-PB $789.99
  4. Those are strong specs, but I would HIGHLY recommend using a 64GB SSD or larger for the boot drive and then use a 7,200 Seagate, WD or Samsung for storage. Also for the the graphics card, I would not use either option you gave (4800 or 3800), Use the newer Fermi based Quadros, either the 5000
    link to newegg
    which replaced the 4800 or the 4000
    , which replaced the 3800.

    If that budget includes a monitor, i would look at 24" or larger.
  5. Actually in terms of GPU, I'd swap it to either a quadro 4000 or 5000. The new fermi based Quadro have a very significant performance advantage over the FX line.
  6. Hmm somewhat related:
    Actually one would have to zoom in @ exactly what feature/s of SW is relevent

    If your not using Simulation or Photoview then it would make sence to buy the fastest single core you can afford, however in normal operation of Solidworks you never really stress the CPU to its limits so your not really going to notice massive performance increases between a 2.6Ghz and a 3.0Ghz CPU. As the price of CPUs goes up exponentially as they get faster your better off going mid range and use the extra money else where (like a a faster hard drive). However If you're right into FEA Simulations or you do a lot of photo realistic rendering with Photoview 360 then a multicore CPU is going to slash your simulation and rendering times dramatically and is a much better choice than a stupidly quick single core CPU.

    What i usually slap up for college/casual SW users on the cheap:


    ATI FireGL/FireProSoftmod (Solid Works, Maya, 3ds max, etc)
    Switching profiles between gaming and workstation modes mean college boi could catch up with his favourite games albeit at toned down settings hehe
  7. Best answer selected by twlawrence.
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